Abendanon targets trophy ahead of Top 14 move
May 23, 2014
Nick Abendanon will move to Clermont this summer after almost a decade at Bath © Getty Images
Nick Abendanon is hoping to end his Bath career with a bang in tonight's Amlin Challenge Cup final.
The full back, who will leave Bath this summer for Top 14 side Clermont Auvergne, last tasted Challenge Cup glory with the West Country club back in 2008 and is determined to sign off with another trophy.
"If I can finish how I came in, back in 2008, with an Amlin Challenge Cup winner's medal, that would be all the sweeter," Abendanon told the Times. "We have come close a couple of times in quarter-finals and semi-finals, but have not got over that last hurdle."
Bath had been enjoying an impressive campaign in the Aviva Premiership, only to lose to Harlequins on the last day of the season. That defeat meant Bath missed out on a Premiership play-off spot, so tonight's Challenge Cup final against Northampton Saints represents their last shot at silverware this year.
For Abendanon, the move to France will all but end his hopes of playing again for England, but he refuses to blame anyone else for his failure to add to his two caps.
"There's a bit of frustration and anger on my own part that I could have maybe worked harder to make an unassailable case," he said. "As with Bath this year, you sometimes just need a bit of luck and I never got that luck when it came to pulling on an England jersey."
With England heading out to New Zealand for a three-Test series in June, Abendanon gave the team his backing and predicted trophies on the horizon. And, although the young fly-half George Ford will miss the tour to have shoulder surgery, Abendanon tipped him to be a force on the international stage for years to come.
"I'm sure this team will kick on and be competing for more trophies in the next four to five years," he said. "George Ford, especially, will be instrumental. It is outstanding the way he bosses guys around and the way he trains remind me of Jonny Wilkinson. I honestly think he will become the best player in the world."
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd
Communication error please reload the page.
Jose Mourinho says Kurt Zouma's long-term future lies at centre-back despite the 20-year-old starting in midfield for Chelsea in the League Cup final victory over Tottenham
Manuel Pellegrini has insisted he does not need to win a trophy this season to keep his job as Manchester City manager
Dave Whelan has resigned as Wigan chairman, with his 23-year-old grandson David Sharpe replacing him
Fernando Alonso says he fully understands why doctors have recommended he sit out the season-opening Australian Grand Prix on March 15.
Arsene Wenger has confirmed Aaron Ramsey is ahead of schedule in recovering from a hamstring injury with the midfielder back in Arsenal's squad for the trip to Queens Park Rangers on Wednesday
After enduring a tricky start to his Manchester United career, perhaps it is fair that Marcos Rojo celebrated so boisterously as he watched his first professional club Estudiantes beat fierce rivals Gimnasia
ESPN rounds up the pre-season of all the protagonists of the upcoming season and tries to make sense of the pecking order ahead of the Australian Grand Prix
Where does Italy's win over Scotland rank among their successes in the Six Nations? Scrum Sevens investigates
Eight years ago, Steve Bunce was offered the chance of buying a 'share' in Tyson Fury, and it would have been a shrewd investment if he had the money
Has anyone shot a round better than 63 at the British Open? And who has shot in the 60s most often - Jack Nicklaus?
Sunderland have suspended midfielder Adam Johnson pending the outcome of a police investigation, the club announced on Monday
Jose Mourinho says the Premier League title race is still wide open and insists even Manchester United are contenders
Former Manchester United captain Gary Neville claimed Manchester City should be "embarrassed" by how easy they made it for Liverpool on Sunday
Arsene Wenger's decision to drop Per Mertesacker could be a "defining moment" for Arsenal, according to the club's former defender Martin Keown
Rafael Benitez has raised concerns about the long-term fitness of Chelsea captain John Terry after revealing the defender is trapped in "a vicious circle" regarding his persistent knee injury
The idea of Chelsea squeezing in a quick 20-minute Wembley celebration before getting back to work is both admirable and typically soulless, writes Alan Tyers
Former Oasis guitarist Noel Gallagher marked his return to football punditry by coining a new name for Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers
John Terry was visibly emotional during the national anthem in Sunday's League Cup final, but don't get your hopes up - he's not coming back to the England team
Some of the best fighters to ever glove up have plied their trade in the Octagon - now ESPN list the 10 best who have fought under the UFC banner
When was the last time the F1 world champion driver's team didn't win the constructors' championship?